On 21 December 2016, the Federal Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Sudan, Badr Eldien Mahmoud Abass and the Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Abdul Kamara signed an agreement for $29 million to finance the Empowering novel agri-business led employment for the youth (ENABLE Youth) in Sudan.
The program, which is specifically designed to reduce youth unemployment in the country, is one of Bank’s Youth employment initiatives that gear towards the transformation of African agriculture. Over the next five years, the program will create agro-business opportunities and decent employment for young women and men along priority agricultural value chains in Sudan. It is expected to train and empower 2,000 agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) in nine Youth agri-business incubation centres in five states in the country. In doing so, the program will directly contribute to fostering and accelerating the revitalization of Sudan’s agriculture sector, through increased production and productivity to create jobs and reduce poverty.
The ENABLE Youth Program is built on Sudan’s long-term development goals as pronounced in the 25-year national strategy (2007-2031) and the 2nd Five-year strategic plan (2012-16). It is thus consistent with the Economic Reform Program (ERP) 2015-2019 which aims to diversify the economy away from oil, to agriculture and other non-oil sectors so as to achieve robust, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The ERP in particular focuses on employment creation through expansion of the production base of the economy, the optimum utilization of resources and allocation towards priorities, and strengthening the role of the private sector. The AfDB’s ENABLE Youth Program directly contributes to two of the four pillars of the ERP, namely value chain development in the productive sectors and human capital development.
The Program will identify innovative young men and women with the potential to become entrepreneurs who are willing to pursue business opportunities in agriculture and the agro-industrial sector. In doing so, the program will engage all stakeholders along the agricultural value chain, and thus strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem critical for the start-up and growth of innovative agribusiness enterprises in the country. The program will have a demonstrative and catalytic effect in encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs to enter, grow and advance Sudan’s agri-business sector.